Tea and Health – Nootropics
Substances Used to Enhance Memory or Other Cognitive Functions.
Colloquially, many accept that the term nootropic refers to a substance used to enhance memory or other cognitive functions, including facilitating learning in a healthy brain. In the 1970s, Romanian scientist, Dr. Conreliu E. Giurgea, coined the term nootropic with a specific set of criteria.
1. Enhances memory and ability to learn.
2. Helps the brain function under disruptive conditions.
3. Protects brain cells from chemical and physical assaults.
4. Increases the efficacy of cell-to-cell communication in the brain.
5. Possesses few or no side effects.
Nootopics in Tea & Botanicals
A few substances commonly found in tea & botanicals could be considered nootropics by the basic definition, rather than the elevated criteria include: L-theanine, anthocyanins, GABA, theobromine, ashwagandha, rosemary, ginseng, and valerian root.
Matcha has long be touted as a nootropic substance, as it is often higher in L-theanine than other types of tea. L-theanine is thought to raise Alpha brain waves to promote relaxation and productivity. Studies have noted L-theanine supports mental function during aging. Butterfly Pea Flower has significant amounts of anthocyanins with potential benefits with supporting learning and memory.
GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) is an amino acid and neurotransmitter, and it is naturally produced by the brain. GABA is the brain’s primary inhibitory transmitter and keeps glutamate, the primary excitatory transmitter, from overwhelming you. Essentially, GABA keeps you from becoming overwhelmed by stress. In certain studies, it has shown potential to balance mood, aid in addiction recovery, and reduce anxiety.
Theobromine found in cocoa nibs & guayusa is thought to regulate mood and have energizing effects with fewer side effects than caffeine. Ashwagandha is used commonly in Ayurveda practices and is thought to provide mental energy. It is colloquially considered to be an adaptogen, promotes a positive mood, and may help with the aging brain.
Rosemary is thought to sharpen focus, and its circulatory regulation aids in blood flow to the brain. Ginseng is one of the 5 scientifically recognized adaptogens that supports brain chemicals and alleviates stress. It is said to provide mental energy and support physical performance. Valerian supports the brain’s GABA levels to aid in relaxation and therefore, sleep.
Notable Nootropic Tea
More About Tea and Health
A well-balanced and vibrant vitality tonic with many beneficial ingredients that have been used for thousands of years, across numerous medicinal traditions. Tangerine Ginger combines roots, fruits, and herbs.
As early as 340 CE Artemisia was used as a traditional medicine to prevent malaria and treat influenza. To add credence to this this traditional use, Chinese scientists identified the active component as artemisinin, also called qinghaosu in the 1970’s. Today this compound is used in anti-malarial medicine worldwide.
Elderberry is highly valued as a medicinal herb and food in many cultures. The plant grows as a small tree or shrub and produces flowers, followed by berries. The anthocyanidins in elderberries are thought to have immunomodulating effects and possibly anti-viral and anti-inflammatory effects.